Artist Ken Feldman + The Transcendence of the Burning Man 747 Project
Today is a rare episode because we have the cofounder of Big Imagination, Ken Feldman, joining us. The Big Imagination Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that aims to incubate bold, visionary projects that inspire the world to dream big. As their 747 Project for Burning Man proves, their artistic pursuits are literally and figuratively larger-than-life and out of the box and to accomplish these groundbreaking projects, they rely on radical collaboration and community support while also providing opportunities for education and participation. On today’s show, Ken answers all the questions we have about this magnificent creation, including how he came up with the idea, how hundreds of people collaborated to make it happen, what the experience is like for Burning Man visitors and why it entails so much more than self-expression on a grand scale. We also talk more generally about the misconceptions about Burning Man and why this event is really about community and celebrating the diversity of art. We get into the details of how and where they managed to acquire the plane, how they went about taking it apart and reassembling it and what the future has in store for him personally and for The 747 Project. This is undoubtedly a spectacular episode, so be sure to join us!
Key Points from This Episode:
• Ken’s first Burning Man project and how it led to him and Jon becoming friends and partners.
• How Ken came up with the concept of turning a 747 into a giant art car.
• Building the Charlie the Unicorn car with very little resources and why it was so successful.
• How their 747 project was a team effort for which all 1000 volunteers should get credit.
• Burning Man as a great art experiment that engages with the question of what art is.
• The significance of the size of the 747 and why it appealed to the imaginations of people.
• What getting into the plane looks like and the emotional experience visitors go through.
• A true story of how building a pink unicorn saved a guy’s life.
• A few interesting analogies for describing Burning Man to someone who hasn’t been.
• Some of the criticisms against Burning Man; little racial diversity and the high cost.
• How Black Rock City started as a joke that got massively out of control.
• Getting hold of the plane from a bone yard and how Boeing responded to the project.
• How Ken’s background in airspace and his love for building things culminated in this project.
• The new plans in store for The 747 Project and how it is going to reach millions of people.
• The complicated process of taking apart and reassembling the 747 and moving it 500 miles.
• A hopeful projection of Ken’s next couple of months following the 747 Project.
• When Ken would consider being part of another project of this scope.
• A vision for honoring The 747 Project by making a film documentary about it.
• And much more!
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Ken Feldman on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenfeldman
Big Imagination — http://www.bigimagination.org/
Burning Man — https://burningman.org/event/
Jonathan Teo on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanteo/
Charlie the Unicorn Car at Burning Man — http://www.laburningman.com/mutant-vehicles/charlie-the-unicorn-art-car/
Opulent Temple — https://www.opulenttemple.org/
Robot Heart — https://www.robotheart.org/
Charlie the Unicorn video — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsGYh8AacgY
Doug Pray — https://dougpray.com/
Salvador Dali — https://www.dalipaintings.com/
P.T. Barnum — https://www.britannica.com/biography/P-T-Barnum
Pink Floyd — http://www.pinkfloyd.com/
Merry Pranksters — http://furthurdowntheroad.org/index.php/history/merry-pranksters/
The Cacophony Society — http://www.cacophony.org/
Space Center Houston — https://spacecenter.org/
Boeing — https://www.boeing.com/
Hans Fjellestad — https://www.hansfjellestad.com/
Man One — http://www.manone.com/
Man One on Twitter — https://twitter.com/ManOneArt
Scott “Sourdough” Power — https://www.instagram.com/sourdoughpower/
Not Real Art Conference — https://www.notrealartconference.com/
Not Real Art on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/notrealartofficial/